So, even though I'm writing this on a Sat I'm gonna do a 5:15 on it. (that is a report we have to do on a Wed in Sky, 15mins to write, 5mins to read is the idea). Not because there is not much to say, but I'm aware of my tendency to ramble and don't wanna bore everyone. Also, its actually well into Feb and I have to catch up on Santiago and the Lake District.
So, moving on. The threesome were still together but unfortunately Leah and Rich (Welsh couple) could not get into our hostel. We were picked up by a long-haired American Indian-looking chap, and he was massive in a muscle way. He ran a nice relaxed place tho and we made a group meal there one night. But essentially San Pedro was a place for boozing and getting ripped off as it's in the middle of nowhere. We ended up drinking and eating a lot.
We did do a few cool things tho. I was really happy to get a run in one morning. I ran (actually, ran is a harsh word, i wouldnt sully the sport by classing my plod as the same thing) up this long straight road with nothing else around for miles, apart from in the distance was the impressive shadow of the snow-capped Andes. I think that would make me one of the few from Norn Iron to do a sub 1hr 10K in the desert. Not exactly Haile Gabresalasse (if thats the spelling), but I was happy with my plod after weeks of laziness, boozing and eating fried food.
We went to Valle de la Luna (Moon Valley) one evening. We climbed thru caves - which my genial hat suited perfect and everyone was very jealous again, before having Pisco Sour while watching one of the most amazing sunsets. Pics to follow. Pisco Sour is a lemon-flavoured cocktail made from egg White, lemon, sugar and Pisco, which is Chilean/Peruvian drink.
Before we did the Moon Valley we did something very much outside of both out comfort zones - Sandboarding!!!
I was uncomfortable as I ski, and skiers and snowboarders don't mix. Kim was uncomfortable as it's sport, and all sport makes Kim uncomfortable. To be honest tho she has pushed the boundaries lately and come up trumps - Death Rd eg.
It was a tough climb to the top of what seemed a sheer drop down the dune. After a worryingly brief lesson we were set off. Most people crashed at least twice, and then there was Kim. Her first 10ft consisted of the loudest, highest shriek of the 100-ish people by far. She was much better than most to be fair. I was last to go and the thought of 'I shouldn't be doing this, this is not right' marked my embarkation. To my surprise I made it the whole way down in one! Not flying, but rapid enough and under control - and I liked it!
Next go, after the same shriek that marked the previous and Kimbo was away. I did loose control a bit this time and hurtled down before falling. While I gathered myself I heard the trademark shriek - she was off again! Not only was Kim makin short work of the dune goin up, but she was Lovin comin down! Scott, you def have a kindred spirit, and a good excuse to pack you, Shelle and Holly up for us all to head to Aviemore for the weekends. Don't worry, we'll pick you up on the way Caggie!
So with her new-found hobby Kim never took a break and got more runs in than anyone, and the practice paid off as by the end she was pretty good. I had the most spectacular crash (arse over head - pic on Del & Linda's Facebook shows me covered on sand thanks to our friend the sun cream) until Del had his last run. Mine was another quick and controlled slide to the bottom before one last comedy tumble (this time on purpose). Del, however, was goin for the jump at the bottom.
Travelling way faster than talent allowed, the front of his board dug into the sand, crashing him face-first in the sand. It was a sore one, with a sprained ankle and sore neck the result. We were gutted for him as it was his last go and he was the most likely to make the jump with his bravery and skill. That was, until Olympic Sandboarder Kimbo Barry had her final go! Not only making it all the way to the bottom, she actually reached the ramp of the jump! Unfortunately momentum ran out due to her wee stature, but applause abounded and plaudits were well-deserved.
So that night we celebrated, quietly as we were all shattered, with the best chicken and chips from a local place. Cheap and good.
And there ends the saga of the Irish couple, the Welsh couple and the Sots couple. We will definitely stay in touch. We have to have a double-chocolate chip muffin party in Glasgow!